What matters now? Our brains, economy, health terrorism, aging?

While many psychics claim to be able to read people’s minds, Western University neuroscientist Jody Culham really can – with some help from functional magnetic resonance imaging.

“By tracking brain signals, we can predict two to three seconds in advance of what a person is going to do,” Culham says. This knowledge could open the door for a number or therapies and technologies that address movement disorders by using brain signals to control artificial limbs.

Culham is one of five researchers from across Ontario who will debate “What Matters Now?” at a free public engagement event at the London Children’s Museum on November 26, between 6:30-9 p.m. It is the second of five talks in the 2014 speaker series, Research Matters, which will travel across the province over the next five months.

Researchers from four other Ontario universities will discuss the eradication of infectious disease, the threat of Canadian terrorists, how to improve cross-border trade and how to maintain mobility into old age. They will briefly present their topic and ask audiences in the room and online to decide “What Matters Now,” providing the public with an opportunity to discuss the future with some of the university researchers who are helping create it.

The series is a collaborative effort of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), and will be moderated by well-known radio and television personality Piya Chattopadhyay, who is often a host on both CBC radio and TVO’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda.

“There couldn’t be a better title for this terrific series, because research does indeed matter in so many ways,” says COU President and CEO Bonnie M. Patterson. “University researchers improve our lives every day – combating disease, solving social problems, helping to shape public policy and discovering the next big thing.”

Research Matters travels to Thunder Bay on March 4, 2014, Toronto on April 9 and wraps up in Kingston on April 23.

For more details on Research Matters please check out www.yourontarioresearch.ca and @OntarioResearch on Twitter.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact: Douglas Keddy, Research Communications Manager, Western University, 519-661-2111 ext. 87485, dkeddy@uwo.ca